Science

How to ride the perfect time trial: Constant power vs variable power

Time trials. They’re arguably the most polarising aspect of bike racing. Some riders love the challenge of pacing their effort perfectly, while others detest the pain that TTs inevitably deliver. If you do any racing yourself, and particularly multi-stage events, you’ll almost certainly come face-to-face with the occasional time trial. So what’s the best strategy …

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Chris Froome’s lab results analysed: Just how good is the three-time Tour de France champion?

When you’re both a fan of professional racing and a keen cyclist yourself, it’s only natural to wonder how you stack up against the pros. While tools like Strava have made it easier than ever to see how we compare, it’s very rare that we get a detailed look at the physiology of one of …

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Improving performance with bicarb soda: how it works and how to do it

For years now, cyclists and other athletes have been using sodium bicarbonate in an attempt to legally improve performance. So just how does this household baking ingredient work in a sporting context and how effective is it? And if you’re going to take it, what’s the best way to go about it? Dietitian Alan McCubbin …

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Hydration: the different needs of women

Do you have a strategic drinking plan for training and competing, or do you just drink to thirst? What do you drink and how does that impact your performance? Hydration is a complex topic, with even more complex physiology. Plus, women and men differ in their hydration needs during prolonged exercise. In fact, women are …

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Why wearing shoe wedges or foot orthoses won’t increase your sprint power

This time last year Honours researcher and former National Road Series (NRS) rider Boon Kiak Yeo wrote an article for CyclingTips about a literary review he’d done on the effectiveness of foot orthoses, shoe wedges and shims. His conclusion at that time was that there wasn’t nearly enough evidence to suggest, as some cyclists do, …

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Why you should think twice before trying a low-carb high-fat diet

As cyclists, we all know how important nutrition and diet are in ensuring we’re appropriately fuelled for our rides. And it’s no surprise that nutrition trends, like low-carb/high-fat diets (LCHF), catch the eye of cyclists — claims of easy weight-loss and limitless energy are hard to ignore. But as Dr José Areta writes, there’s scant …

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Healthy hearts: why the UCI’s mandatory medical checks are important

In preparation for their 2015 season, Orica-GreenEdge last week held a training camp that saw much of the team ride from Central Victoria up to Canberra. As part of that training camp, the riders visited the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra to undertake the UCI’s mandatory annual health checks. Aaron S. Lee went …

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Cycling and Type 1 Diabetes: how the pros manage

Ride, eat, sleep, repeat. That’s how many of us would love to live. The freedom to ride (or race) our bike whenever we want, to eat what we want (within reason) and to get a good night’s sleep before doing it all again. Sure, there are family commitments, work and other demands on our time. …

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All about the bike: what happens when cycling becomes an ‘obsessive passion’

If you’re reading this there’s every chance you love riding your bike. You might even be a little bit obsessed with cycling. But at what point does a passion for cycling become a problem? Psychologist Dr Justin Coulson ponders this question and considers what new psychology research suggests about the internal conflicts we can feel …

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Sleep for cyclists: how to ensure you’re recovering properly

We all know how important sleep is, not just for physical regeneration but for mental and psychological recovery as well. And when you’re a cyclist – professional or otherwise – sleep plays an even more vital role than it might for the average person. CyclingTips editor Matt de Neef spoke with Dr Shona Halson, Senior …

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